"You got to give them credit," Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said on his post-game radio show. "That's what they've done on several occasions. I thought our guys played extremely hard, fought their hearts out. It's a tough loss for us."
Senior guard Levi Randolph and sophomore forward Shannon Hale tied for the team lead in scoring with 13 points apiece, while Randolph and sophomore center Jimmie Taylor both contributed a team-leading five rebounds for the evening. Taylor also had a team-high three blocks along with six points.
Coming into the game, Wichita State had won 22 straight home games, the fifth-longest streak in the nation. Alabama trailed for most of the first half, but stuck around and finished the half on a 6-0 run to lead 25-24 at the intermission.
The Crimson Tide led almost the entire second half, stretching its lead to 11 after a Hale made three-point shot to put the Alabama up 51-40 with 6:01 left to play. The Tide was then outscored 13-1 over the final six minutes of play in which it committed four of its 11 total turnovers.
Alabama and Wichita State were near even in every offensive category with both teams’ final scores falling well below their season average for points in a game, but the Crimson Tide was not able to come away with the victory. UA entered the game averaging 78 points per game.
Wichita State was led Darius Carter who had 16 points and six rebounds, while guard Fred VanVleet had nine points to go along with team-highs of seven rebounds and five assists.
Alabama returns home Friday to kick off a five-game homestand. The first of the five contests comes against in-town foe Stillman College with the Crimson Tide and Tigers set to tip at 6 p.m. CST inside Coleman Coliseum.